NAMI WLA Statement on Racism and Justice

NAMI Westside Los Angeles stands in solidarity with all the families, loved ones, and community members who have lost loved ones senselessly due to racism. Our African American community members need us to stand up and demand systematic change and justice.  

We join NAMI in recognizing racism as a public health crisis that cannot be ignored. Our loved ones and community members suffering as a result of racism and racial trauma need our support.

Our local affiliate is here for you. You are not alone.

Full Statement from NAMI CEO Daniel H. Gillison, Jr.:

“The effect of racism and racial trauma on mental health is real and cannot be ignored. The disparity in access to mental health care in communities of color cannot be ignored. The inequality and lack of cultural competency in mental health treatment cannot be ignored.

“Our nation’s African American community is going through an extremely painful experience, pain that has been inflicted upon this community repeatedly throughout history and is magnified by mass media and repeated deaths. We stand with all the families, friends and communities who have lost loved ones senselessly due to racism. And, with more than 100,000 lives lost to the coronavirus pandemic – disproportionately from minority communities – these recent deaths add gasoline to the fire of injustice.

“While there is much we need to do to address racism in our country, we must not forget the importance of mental health as we do so. Racism is a public health crisis.

“As the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization, it is our responsibility to serve all. While as an organization we are still early in our intentional Diversity, Equity and Inclusion journey and have much to do, we have renewed our commitment to our values. We continue to strive to deliver help and hope to all who need it.

“NAMI stands in solidarity with everyone impacted across the country. You are not alone.”